The Virginia Native Plant Society is dedicated to the protection and preservation of the native plants of Virginia and their habitats, in order to sustain for generations to come the integrity of the Commonwealth’s rich natural heritage of ecosystems and biodiversity for purposes of enjoyment, enlightenment, sustainable use, and our own very survival. Our Chapter works to achieve these goals in the Tidewater area and assists the Society with conservation projects at the state level.
Site Registry Program
The Virginia Native Plant Society has many activities in native plant conservation. One of the most important is the Site Registry Program. The registry is a voluntary program designed by the VNPS to protect the plant treasures residing in natural communities throughout Virginia. Landowners who agree to register their properties as Virginia Native Plant Sites take an important step towards preserving the natural features of the land. The John Clayton Chapter has registered two properties to the Site Registry Program: Greenhaven and Grove Creek. Both properties are in James City County and are in the communities of Norge and Grove.
Seeds of Success: A Global Conservation Program
The Seeds of Success (SOS) Program under the Millennium Seed Bank Project (MSBP) is a global conservation program, conceived, developed, and managed by the Seed Conservation Department at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, England. The aims of the Project are to:
- Collect and conserve 10%, over 24,000 species, of the world’s seed-bearing flora, principally from the dry lands, by 2010.
- Carry out research to improve all aspects of seed conservation
- Make seeds available for research and species re-introduction into the wild.
- Encourage plant conservation throughout the world by facilitating access to and transfer of seed conservation technology.
- Maintain and promote the public interest in plant conservation.
- Provide a world-class facility as a focal resource for this activity.
Seeds of Success is a conservation and native plant program coordinated by the Plant Conservation Alliance. Currently 29% of the US flora is threatened, and native plant communities are at continuing risk. High quality seed samples are urgently needed for restoration purposes and this is a key focus for the Seeds of Success Program. The Program brings together a number of partners working in different parts of the country under the umbrella of the Plant Conservation Alliance.
Here in tidewater Virginia the John Clayton chapter is working with Andrew Walker, Herbarium Curator, University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. We will be sending our collections to him for final processing before delivery to Kew, England. Over the past two years VNPS members have collected seeds of Baccharis halimifolia, Mertensia virginica, and six others. Note that Claytonia virginica is on the list to be collected. Only persons with SOS training should gather seeds! Those interested in helping can be paired with SOS trained members.